Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court closed its term for the summer Monday with stirring tributes to two members of its larger family.
Justice John Paul Stevens capped his 35-year-career on the high court by emotionally thanking his colleagues. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on hand to hear a tribute to her late husband Martin, who died Sunday of cancer.
The nine justices wrapped up their business before a three-month recess by issuing orders and the court's remaining four opinions. Before gaveling the court to a close after a 70-minute session, Chief Justice John Roberts thanked Stevens for his government service.
"Your decision to retire saddens each of us in distinct ways," said Roberts from the bench. "You have enriched us through your inspiring example of public service. The bonds of friendship that we have forged extend beyond our common endeavor." His eight colleagues signed a letter of gratitude, which also included retired justices David Souter and Sandra Day O'Connor.
The 90-year-old Stevens had the last word, telling the packed courtroom, "It has been an honor and a privilege to share custodial responsibility for a great institution with the eight of you and with ten of your predecessors." He appeared emotional in his brief statement, pausing at times. But he smiled broadly at the end.